15 Things to Never Say or Do in PARIS

Nov 1

15 things to never say or do in Paris | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Ready to get your Frenchie on?

Ready to take a road trip down Frenchie lane to Paris today?

Ready to learn about Parisians and life in Paris ?

Oh la la….

Have I got a surprise for you.

There is a delicious something-something in this blog post for you.

Parisians aren’t as bad as you think.  Yes they are.

 The truth is ~ even Parisians don’t like Parisians.

And you think I joke.

I pinky swear it is the truth.    You are my peep.   You know I wouldn’t lie to you.

 

 

15 things to never say or do in Paris | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton[pinit]

How do I know these facts?

I lived in Paris for 2 years.

Although I am Canadian ~ contrary to popular belief ~ not all Canadians speak French.

Shocking, right?  Right.

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

Canadians  &   the   French   Language  :

 

The only time a Canadian speaks/reads French is in Quebec or in the grocery store.

All Canadian food labels are in French and English.  Interesting, right?   Riveting.  Not.

Moving to Paris meant that I had to learn some French language skills and definitely some Frenchie French Frenchy culture.

{ PS. I learned how to speak French with free podcasts from  Coffee break French }  They were my first entry in the podcast world and it was worth it.  Fabulosa learning.

As a non-French-speaking-newbie to Paris…. it had it’s ups and downs.  It is not all french pastries and lovey dovey frenchiness.

Yes, it is one beautiful city.  Gorgeous actually.

That’s not the point.  One can not live on good looks.  *boohoo*

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

Living in Paris meant that sometimes things went horribly wrong.  Times like when I went shopping for boeuf bourguignon ingredients and came home with scouring pads and wine.

At least I had the liquor.  And I drank it.

The cashier was mean French to me.   It’s all her fault.  She drove me to drink.   I drank with purpose.

Later that day, as I sipped my Frenchie wine and stared at my scouring pads ~I plotted ways on how I would get back at her and her little-miss-bad-ass-frenchie-attitude.

Note to self :  It doesn’t work when you say :

 

"Shut your French face"

 

Life, in Paris was a whole other box of crayons for this Canuck.  It took some time, but I learned to embrace its awesomeness.  I learned how to survive amongst the French culture.

It was as if a lightbulb came on and it shone bright.  It blinded me with stupidity and yet made me feel all warm and fuzzy because *whew* I was finally starting to understand the French culture.

Thank Gawd.  My liver thanked me later.

 

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

Am I the only numskull that this happens to?  Nope.

 

There are lessons to learn about visiting Paris.  Learn them, and you will be golden.  Learn them and you will be sipping French wine along the canal and feeling the bliss.  Learn them and you will enjoy Paris in all its glorious awesomeness.

Learn them and you may have the opportunity to become a part of this*

*More on that in a moment.

First.  Pay attention class.  Yes, I just tapped the chalkboard with my pointy thingy.  The thing that makes you pay attention.  You have some Frenchie learnin’ to do.

 

5  Things to never never never ever say to a French person :

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

1.    “No, I don’t have the exact change right down to the very last centime.”

Exactly?!  Exact ?   Why are you looking at me like that?

 

2.   “I don’t speak french.  Do you speak English ?”

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

ps. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know jack about speaking French.  Learn a few words if you want to live a little longer.  The stink eye from a Parisian can kill.

 

3.   Starting any sentence that doesn’t begin with the word Bonjour

 

Don’t ever just blurt out a question.  Like ever.  NEVER.   Start every conversation with :

” Bonjour, Madame or bonjour Monsieur…”

 

 

4.   “This food doesn’t taste very good.”

It rarely happens in Paris, but when you do get a bad meal… just eat what you can.  If you can’t finish it, just pretend you were full.

You’re welcome.  I just saved your life.   Death by a waiter is never a good thing.

 

5.    Calling a waiter garçon

 

 

You will be shot.  I can’t promise what will be in your food.  If it ever arrives at your table, eat with caution.

Better yet, stand still.  I will punch you in the groin for saying that unmentionable waiter word.

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

 

10 Things to Never Ever Never Do in Paris :

 

1.   Wear sweatpants, shorts, or running shoes.

If you look like you are about to do something sporty in your attire, turn around…

Do it.  Turn.

Go back into your hotel room and get changed.

Now.

Parisians avoid dressing like they’re going to hike the Matterhorn.  You’d best do the same.

 

2.  Expect flattery.

You will never hear a Parisian say that something is extraordinary, awesome, epic, incredible.  Like Taylor Swift never.

Things are ‘pas mal’  = ‘not bad’

You could get be an Olympic Gold Medalist. It won’t matter.  ‘Not bad’  still applies.  They won’t care if you are holding a medal.

It is quite possible that they have to hand in their French passport to the Government if they use the word awesome.

 

3.  Travel on a French holiday.

Good luck with that. It is the perfect time of year for a strike.  Strikes happen all.the.time and usually when you have to get somewhere very fast and very important to get to.

 

4.   Return something to any retail store. { Gasp }

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

Their policy for returns is… buy a new one.  

It doesn’t matter if you bought it yesterday, if you have a receipt, or if you are the Queen of the Universe.

You own it.

For forever.

 

 

5.   Expect to hail a taxi

Not going to happen. You must find a designated taxi station.  Finding a designated taxi station and standing in the right taxi spot is equivalent to seeing a full moon while facing North West on a hot sunny day.

Uh-hum.

 

 

6.   Be naive enough to think that Parisians don’t butt in line.

They do it. All.The.Time.  Funny enough, the hot glare you may give them at the back of their head does not burn a hole.

Believe me.

Tried.   Tested.  And true.

 

 

7.  Drive a car.

Unless you say your prayers nightly.  And you know how to park a car like stuffing a whale into a can of sardines.  Do you want to know how a Parisian parallel parks their car?  They hit the car in front and then the one in behind.  It is like bumper cars in 12 square feet.

Quite entertaining, actually.

Get some popcorn.  Be prepared to be entertained.

 

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in #Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

8.  Make plans on a Sunday or expect normal store hours.

Don’t do it.  You will suffer.  The city shuts down on Sunday. Period.

Store hours can be cray-cray.

Store sign example : Open from 10-2 and closed from 2-5.  Reopening again on a different day when you aren’t available.

Just drink wine and get over it.  This too shall pass.

 

 

9.   Slather butter and bread together and put it on a side plate.

Design the Life You Want to Live : 15 things to never say or do in Paris. A fun story via @lynneknowlton

 

The horrors.  It doesn’t happen.  Butter does not go on bread.  You silly fool.

PS. And don’t you dare put that bread on a plate.

That is what the table is for.

Doofass.

 

 

10.  Talk loudly.

You will die a thousand deaths from French stares.

You might as well paste a sticky note on your forehead that says :

 I'm a tourist and I'm stupid.

 

 

Now, my frenchie pal… you are ready for Paris.  Your lesson is complete.

Class dismissed.  Sip ‘yer wine.

 

 

15 things to never say or do in Paris | DESIGN THE LIFE YOU WANT TO LIVE | Lynne Knowlton

Lynne

 

PS. Do you have a Parisian story?  Share with sugar bear in the comments below.

 

 

Now it’s your Frenchie turn.  Tell me your Paris hot tips.  Do you have a favourite cafe?  An ahhhmazing thaaang to do?

Whaaaa?  You haven’t been to Paris ?  Want to get there?  Stick around.  November has a cool surprise waiting for you.

Be the first to hear about it by signing up here to free weekly blog posts AND get a free instantly downloadable book of my insider tips and tricks to photography.  Hint:  It doesn’t involve buying expensive camera equipment.

This blog is a cool place to hang out at.  I promise.

Now get writing in the comment section and let me know about your love of Paris

 

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  1. jackie

    April 21st, 2015 at 3:23 pm

    Great read, thanks for sharing! I am traveling to paris tomorrow and literally just jotted some of these tips down. Your blog just made my American friends and I laugh pretty hard. Here’s to hoping our trip is smooth sailing! 🙂

  2. lynneknowlton

    July 3rd, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    15 Things to Never Say or Do in PARIS http://t.co/GXfcsCI7uj

  3. lynneknowlton

    August 5th, 2016 at 5:00 pm

    15 Things to Never Say or Do in PARIS https://t.co/TqAH3gvg6X

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